By Francis Marion – First Published August 30th, 2016
The sound of Bluegrass flowed like water out the cafe door and downstream alongside currents born of Northern Cascades and the snow that still lingered amongst their craggy, watchful peaks. A cool breeze followed the setting sun up the valley and found its way in through the back door of the dining room while the band played softly, one by two, plucking on guitar and bass as farmer’s daughters scurried here and there bringing food and drink to traveler and resident alike.
“I’m sorry we’re full,” said a gentle voice from the front door to a pair of backpackers as a glass of stout found its place in front of my plate.
“We can wait,” they replied but the truth was that no one would leave for hours. Patrons picked slowly at their food and ordered more drinks as the band, a husband and wife duo, plucked another song, sipped their brew and chatted with guests in between.
As the evening waned and the sun traveled further up the valley my daughter noticed the lights as they flickered to life. They were hand-blown orbs of orange and red and yellow and they matched the scarf that she had worn to tie back her strawberry blonde hair. She looked in wonder at their shape and complexity and smiled as she realized they matched what she had worn.
My son sat across from me tapping his foot and nodding his head as the evening’s entertainment went into its next song. He played unconsciously with the fries on his plate and marveled at how easily the husband picked his guitar with thumb and finger at once. Their music and voices, a throwback to something long gone, mesmerized and intoxicated the guests in the small dining room in the little cafe in the mountain valley and for a while, all of us were somewhere else.
As I found my wife’s hand she shot me a wink. “How blessed I am,” I began to think as she put her head on my shoulder and tapped her fingers on mine to the rhythm of the song.
There are moments in our lives when we are pulled out of time and place and allowed to forget the cares and worries of the world around us.
It is good to forget, from time to time, and to be somewhere else. To enjoy a pint, good music, and good company.
I began to think that the world needed more places like this and more people like this and more moments like this.
People who love, who live and who, without knowing a thing about one another, could appreciate the fellowship that such a place in space and time could bring.
But then the music stopped and the lights flickered.
And the tabs were settled and the “thank you’s” spoken.
And it was time, once again,
Picture Via The Valley Voice